Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Big Yella from Corn Pops

Yee-haa! The man with the big yellow hat is "Big Yella", the cool cowboy from Kelloggs Sugar Corn Pops cereal.

For a relatively brief stint, Big Yella rustled up some tasty Sugar Corn Pops for kids of all ages. He was featured on the boxes and premiums from 1977 to 1980. Before Big Yella, there was a "live", unanimated cowboy character. After Big Yella in 1980 we were treated to Poppy the Porcupine for a few years.

The box pictured here is from late in 1977 and features the True West trading card premiums.

I have not been able to locate copies of any TV commercials with Big Yella, though I do remember them from the time. If anyone knows of some, please let me know!

Big Yella was created by the Leo Burnett advertising agency, who created many memorable commercial characters back then. I was fortunate enough to acquire an original piece of artwork of Big Yella. This drawing was done by Bill Mackley for "Jean" -- and I believe that both of them worked at Leo Burnett. This is one of several that I acquired -- the others being different characters created by that agency, all done for Jean. I can only guess that Jean was leaving the company and Bill gave these as a parting gift.

Cereal premiums featuring Big Yella are out there, and relatively in short supply it seems. Here's an incomplete list of prizes that I have or have seen:
  • "Bull Dozer Bike" Sticker
  • Notebook Tab Divider Stickers
  • Beach Ball
  • School Subjects Paper Bookmarks (at least 8 different)
  • Drinking Glass
  • Heat Transfer Glitter Iron-On
  • School Bus Pencil Box (with other Kellogg's characters)
  • Big Puzzles (at least 3 different, with other Kellogg's characters)
  • "I like everything Big & Yella" Poster
  • Music Poster (with Dig'em the frog)
  • Rub-Ons (at least 3 different, with other Kellogg's characters; Canadian)
  • Window Cling-On "Sticker" (2 different)
  • Yo-Yo
  • Light Switch Sticker
  • "Best Looking Of The Lot" Sticker
  • Bike Reflector (Stick Up For Breakfast promotion)
  • Tube Socks
  • T-Shirt (mail-away offer)
  • Bendy Figure
In my opinion, one of the best cereal prizes ever is this wonderful bendy figure of Big Yella.

Probably the oddest Big Yella prize has to be this pair of tube socks, which must have been a mail-away item.
Big Yella rode off into the sunset in 1980 and hasn't been heard from since. Happy Trails, Big Yella! We miss you.
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